Saturday, February 15, 2014

Flowers on the Kitchen Window Seal

Valentine flowers

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fridge Love Notes ....Sharing a Couple of Our Little Love Notes

David and I occasionally leave one another notes on the fridge dry erase board. Here is a "conversation" that happened sometime in December. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Homemade Wheat Crackers

I like a good cracker now and then. I don't like the additives inside a store bought cracker. If I find a good one they are like $10.00 a pound. Solution..make my own. I did. I made a homemade version of wheat thins. Had no clue how they would turn out. SURPRISE! They were good. I just need to figure out how to make them just a little thinner.  So here is my 1st time experience making Wheat Thins.

We like to grind our whole wheat flour.

Freshly ground flour to start off the wheat thins.

The ingredients ready

To start of I measured the dry ingredients and blend with my hand. Then I added the oil and water.

I like using a fork for blending. I mashed and tossed and blended the mixture until it appeared as though all the liquid was absorbed. Don't be fooled if it looks dry. The mixture looked like this until I started sorta kneading it together and mushing like a big lump of play dough.
This is what it looked like. I tried a greased, wet, and or floured rolling pin and everything stuck. I realize now I should have divided it to fit the baking pan I had.

So I tried to fit all the dough on one pan. I know next time to divide so the crackers will not be as thick. Live and Learn that's OK. I resorted to lightly greasing my cast iron baking pan and using the heels of my hand to push and flatten. This worked. 

 I sprinkled with cracked black pepper,salt and cut with a pizza cutter.

Out come. Good. My husband has almost eaten all of them. So simple. I don't think I will by store bought crackers again. SOOO cheap too. 

1 1/2 c. wheat flour or any flour I think might work
4 T. butter  melted  (I used a mixture of Spectrum shortening and Smart Balance'm sure you can use Olive oil or Coconut oil)
1  T Sugar or less
1/4 c. water (more or less)
1/2 tsp salt
This cracker is wide open for any type of herbs and spices. 
Preheat oven to 400F.  Bake 10 minutes or so. Watch closely.  Depending on your oven you may want to rotate the pan mid way thru baking.

Monday, February 10, 2014

In the Kitchen

I've had such a wonderful day cooking and creating in the kitchen. The heart room of our home. While I cooked down a chicken for a BBQ dish, made slaw and other dishes, I visited with my daughter and grandson. The visit was by Skype from Germany to North Carolina. E and I shared recipes and everyday talk with time outs for hand clapping and goofy faces with the 6 month old grandson. As I watched snow falling from my window, I watched Grandson jump around in his bouncy seat, then scoot around on the floor. After dinner I called to check in on our granddaughter, the phone call turned into a very quick let's Skype. Papa and I were informed she had a good day playing, had a cold, her nose was sore but mom had a lotion to help it feel better. One more Skype call to our grandsons and their parents. We were treated to a wonderful drum concert from the eldest, a look at a cool train track set up from the youngest and a visit with our son and daughter-in-law. All the visiting took place in the kitchen "around" the kitchen table. Such a wonderful day.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bright Salad on a Grey Winter Day

I think of making a cranberry relish almost every time I open the freezer. (two large bags just lying there since buying them at a great deal back in the fall) I knew I would use them for baking and salads. Maybe it's because it's the dead of winter and my body is craving tart and bright foods. So, on this grey overcast Sunday afternoon I finally made the relish/salad. I made it up using what I had in the house. I started out with some of the frozen cranberries, collected two shriveled up oranges, an apple, a lime, a little ground ginger, and honey.

This is a very tart relish. I started with 2 tablespoons honey and added a little more. Use the sweetener of your choice. It gets a little sweeter as the flavors meld in the refrigerator. This would be a good side dish with most any meat. Tweek this base recipe with your own varieties of fruits, nuts, spices. 
~Putting it all together~
I used 4 cups of cranberries (frozen and unthawed)
1 large apple —wash well and leave the peel on an chop
2 smallish oranges —  chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/4 cup honey 
1.  Use fresh cranberries, if available. If using frozen, defrost before starting relish.
2. In a food processor, chop up the cranberries first. Quick little burst. You don't want cranberry mush.  Pour the cranberries into a bowl large enough for all of the ingredients. Place apple in food processor and do the same. Add to cranberries. Cut orange into small pieces  Add ginger and honey to the mixture, stir well. 
*** After I made the relish I remembered a couple of pears in the fridge. Those would be good to add also. * Another thought!!!....celery too. *